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Ultimate World Cruise 245 days and all the parts. Ongoing review, questions, opinion


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Glad you all are enjoying the sunny warm weather. We left you in New York and got back to Tennessee to enjoy way cooler temperatures than when we left - sad face - and the realities of a 60 year old house. Lots of projects to finish before we can escape to Florida for the winter. So folks enjoy the warm while you have it - it will chill when you get around lower South America. Just thought I'd throw that thought out there.

Connie

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Sad to say we have left the ship.  However we are sitting comfortably in a hospitality room at the Sheraton.  Thanks Viking.  Thanks to the World Cruisers for being so gracious.  I'll post some of my better photos when I get home.  Wishing you fair seas and wonderful adventures.  CTBob

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Here's pat of a thread running on the Jan 4th departure date site, ref having $$$ on hand.  What have been your experiences so far?

 

________________________________________________________

We will have a reasonable quantity of US $, mostly in small bills. In addition, we will have a couple hundred each of NZ$, Aus $, India Rupees, Euro & Sterling. For other countries we will have the equivalent of CAN $ 20, or more for those where we booked private tours.

 

We tend to put pretty much EVERYTHING on a credit card.  Easier to pay one bill at the end of the month, plus it's a good record to have of our expenditures.  With technology these days, even pop-up vendors have Square and are able to take credit cards.  Did you have any problems with credit cards anywhere?      

 

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Somewhere on the way to Bermuda we had our "Meet & Mingle"  It was nice to meet some of you who I only knew from online.  This seems to be the best of the photos we took (Probably because I'm not in it!)  CTBob

ps - Sorry that I didn't think of this before some people already left.

 

1638794096_MeetMingle(Medium).thumb.JPG.c4e011aa91fffb826b0cf85d1ba6c271.JPG

Edited by CTBob
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I have been quite remiss in posting lately.  Thanks to CT Bob and others for adding excellent pictures and comments.  So many islands, so little time......  Actually I think I left off after our stop in Tortola with the local boat over to Jost van Dyke.  JVD is our "happy place" in the Caribbean and we always manage to go there.  After that St. Thomas was a bit of a drag.  Anyone who has ever been on a Caribbean cruise has been to STT and know how crowded it is.  Amazingly we were the only ship in town.  But at 800some passengers many of the shops as well as the cable car didn't bother to open.  Add heavy showers all day and we basically called it a "Sea Day".  Nice Pina Coladas on board too.  Next up was San Juan.  We docked Pier 1 right in the heart of Old San Juan.  We always have a nice time in SJU and this was no different.  Three whole days to wander about and eat some great food.  As mentioned earlier, all the Mexican offerings on board have a sweet undertone. They really need to drop the sugar.  Anyway we searched out two Mexican restaurants and had our fill of spicy (not sweet)  tacos, enchiladas, even "Mexican Lasagne" which was amazingly good.  On our last day we went to Raices Restaurant for authentic Puerto Rican dishes.  Mofongo was the hit stuffed with beef and onions.  I am not a chef so y'all can Google mofongo to see how it is made.  I will just say it was great.  in between all the eating we managed to bump into most of the crew and passengers in the CVS store right across from the dock.  Got to re stock don't you know...... Besides all the walking tours we took the ferry over to Catano to do the Bacardi tour.  The ferry cost us $.25 each way.  What a deal!  The Bacardi tour was fairly lame (imho) and the lines for the "free" drink were 30 or 40 people deep so we took a pass on that and returned home where the lines are much shorter and the bartenders better.   San Juan was a turnaround port so lots of changes.  We will miss quite a few who left.  Every segment we have enjoyed quite a few new faces and then were sad to see them go.  For those who asked about having segments as opposed to the Inaugural World Cruise that had no segments I can say now, after two months and 5 turnarounds, that there is plus and minus to them.  It's nice having new faces but then there always seems to be good byes going on.  That is different.  Also we long term passengers are required to take more emergency drills than on the Inaugural.  The main gripe I am hearing from us long timers is that Viking now rotates crew at every segment.  For those coming onboard for a segment this will be a non issue as the cabin attendant, favorite bar staff, etc. will stay the same for the duration of your segment.  For us long timers, well let me put it this way.  We are approximately two months in.  On our second Captain, third General Manager, and FIFTH cabin attendant.  Hard to like all that change.  Also they took our favorite bartender from the Living Room Bar to Aquavit.  All the way aft in the World Cafe.  Aquavit is mainly a service bar, not the kind of place to meet friends for conversation as there are lots of people with plates of food constantly walking by.  Our favorite staff in the restaurant is all scrambled too.  Forget them knowing our preferences as now we start all over.  Basically there is very little about this voyage that feels like a World Cruise to us.  By this time in the Inaugural we had met Mr. Hagen, Karine, and Finse the dog twice.  No such effort this trip.  Also on the Inaugural, we had the same Captain, senior staff, General Manager, Cruise Director, and many of the key service people onboard for the full 4 months.  Really did make it have a "family" feel.  The ship is still beautiful, the crew is still good, though you never know where to find them and the food is, if anything, a bit better.  So all things change to some extent.  This is a very nice BtoBtoBtoBtoBtoBtoBtoB,etc.  But not what feels like a world cruise.  Again, please don't think I am being critical of those doing segments.  We have enjoyed meeting new people on each one.  Many have received heavily discounted fares for the segment.  Hard to not like that as Viking can some times be rather stingy with discounts.  We are thinking our next one might just be one of the longer segments and we will push for discounts.  For now it is a perfect sea day in the Caribbean heading for Barbados.  We have been to Barbados before and like it there very much.  We have never been to Harrison's Cave so are doing that excursion.  For now, there must be that Pina Colada somewhere.....🍹

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1 hour ago, Jim Avery said:

Basically there is very little about this voyage that feels like a World Cruise to us.

Wow!  This is a big disappointment.  You pay a premium, I think, for a WC.  The crew rotation that you describe must be a letdown.  Part of the feature of long cruises are getting to know your fellow pax and seeing the familiar faces of the crew.  Still I suppose that Viking needs to fill the seats to be profitable and the crew rotations help them to manage a growing fleet of ships.  Still, for me a bit of a bummer!

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42 minutes ago, MadMarine said:

Wow!  This is a big disappointment.  You pay a premium, I think, for a WC.  The crew rotation that you describe must be a letdown.  Part of the feature of long cruises are getting to know your fellow pax and seeing the familiar faces of the crew.  Still I suppose that Viking needs to fill the seats to be profitable and the crew rotations help them to manage a growing fleet of ships.  Still, for me a bit of a bummer!

I sort of want to respond to this, as I have been sensing Jim Avery’s frustration, maybe not the right word, for some time, at the differences in the two world cruises.  And to reassure Mad Marine.  On our 2019 WC we had the same cabin steward the whole time. We had two captains, each for two months and then Captain Lars returned before Greenwich to attend the farewell party.  Heather was on the whole way, as was Sujith.  I have a nice photo of All four of them raising a glass to toast us farewell.  I had the same person in the salon all the way through.  We had our favorite servers all the way through, although sometimes in different venues.  But we were fine having Igor, for instance, give us the same attention in the World Cafe as he had in the Explorer’s lounge.  And even though the WC had segments, there were only five in 128 days.  Each segment was 3-5 weeks long, rather than what seems to be two weeks on the current WC.  So I’m wondering if maybe Viking bit off more than it could chew with the Ultimate WC.  I don’t really see that they are doing it again, the next one being 160 days.  Anyway, we loved our cruise, met many friends who were on the entire way.  So Mad, hang in there.   I bet you will love your WC, too.

Edited by SantaFe1
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3 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

And even though the WC had segments, there were only five in 128 days.

Thanks, SanteFe1.  As near as I can determine, there are two WC length (161 and 141 days) and 3 (40 day) segments.  So, perhaps it will be less turnover of pax and crew, hopefully.  I do think that there is a plus with some new faces to meet and greet.  😎.  Looking forward to meeting you guys in April.

Mad

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46 minutes ago, Earlinarizona said:

Did anyone find out how of the 930 people on board are doing the full 245 Day World cruise and not segments?

We were on the second segment (Bergen to Montreal) and were told that 63 people were doing the full World Cruise.

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14 hours ago, MadMarine said:

Thanks, SanteFe1.  As near as I can determine, there are two WC length (161 and 141 days) and 3 (40 day) segments.  So, perhaps it will be less turnover of pax and crew, hopefully.  I do think that there is a plus with some new faces to meet and greet.  😎.  Looking forward to meeting you guys in April.

Mad

I think on our WC about half were on for the full cruise.  So maybe different from the current one.  We look forward to meeting you too.  Despite the WC we still have a bucket list, and the Alhambra is definitely on it!

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2 hours ago, Earlinarizona said:

Did anyone find out how of the 930 people on board are doing the full 245 Day World cruise and not segments?

 

I posted a written article on the WC a month or so back.  In it it stated 55 were doing the entire 245 days.

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On 10/27/2019 at 9:37 AM, NY Nick said:

 

I posted a written article on the WC a month or so back.  In it it stated 55 were doing the entire 245 days.

I'm a  recent Peeping Tom on this wonderful WC conversation that I found while looking for Viking information on the upcoming Buenos Aires - Santiago segment that we're very excited to be booked on....yes, we're one of those, but didn't know, until now, that there's a name for us. ..segmenters.

Our 1st Viking and only 2nd cruise...yes, also newbies, was last year, Los Angeles to Miami via the canal. When we docked in Miami we were told that the Viking ship leaving was a WC so maybe this one? 

My husband didn't think I'd be up for another trip close on the heels of a Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos land adventure with an old girlfriend, whose husband also didn't want the long flights from SFO.  With a few weeks for re-entry to read the mail and repack three weeks with Viking was just what the doctor ordered. I loved SE Asia and would have liked a year exploring, but returning to a cruise was a welcome, pampered pooch experience.

We have some concerns, not safety, but the conditions in Santiago with the current protests. With three additional days booked in Santiago before flying home, I'm following some Chile threads to determine if we should lamentably cancel and reschedule South America next year when it may be less volatile.

Aside from that, this has been great to read of your many adventures, friendships, cruise mate experiences and extended time at sea. You all have my admiration for amazing sea legs and we're now thinking that 3 weeks isn't hardly worth the time it takes to pack. 2020 may require a new point of view.

We're giving it another week to see what the conditions in Santiago are before making a painful decision to postpone so may see some of you onboard. I'll bring a jar of Luxardo cherries...the only one worthy of a cocktail that requires a maraschino.

Looking forward to your upcoming posts.

Randi & Alex in UT

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I am following,with great interest, this journey. We were on Viking Sun earlier this year, Sydney to Greenwich, and loved every minute .One of the most special things were the the Crew, from the Captain to the Cleaners ,simply wonderful people, and we wondered how they could all be chosen so well...! A great feeling of "Family" resulted from all of this, and saying goodbye was simply sad.! However, I am unsure that the complete world journey was so easy for all the crew,and when asked ,the odd person was not sure they would like to do it all again.Perhaps this is part of the reason for change,but So Many changes, in the smiling faces, would spoil things, greatly, for me anyway.!

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On 10/26/2019 at 5:40 PM, CTBob said:

Somewhere on the way to Bermuda we had our "Meet & Mingle"  It was nice to meet some of you who I only knew from online.  This seems to be the best of the photos we took (Probably because I'm not in it!)  CTBob

ps - Sorry that I didn't think of this before some people already left.

 

1638794096_MeetMingle(Medium).thumb.JPG.c4e011aa91fffb826b0cf85d1ba6c271.JPG

Lovely photo Bob thanks so much for sharing I have saved it.

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Thanks again to Tom for the beautiful shots. I have been a bit remiss in posting as, well, we have just been busy....  I know, doing what?  After doing the Harrison's Caves in Barbados, and after seeing Tom's pictures, I think Tom chose more wisely.  The Caves were nice and the excursion was well run but the Caves not so well done as Karchner Caverns near Benson, AZ.  Anyway, after leaving Barbados we had a picture perfect sea day.  Sunny, warm, near flat calm seas.  The only thing to gripe about is the non opening of the Pool Deck roof.  A number of us asked to have it open as most of y'all know it gets hot and humid when closed in the sun.  At first we were told it could not be opened because "in heavy seas, we might get it open then be unable to close it".  BS in anyone's language. The seas were flat calm.  Something was wrong with the mechanism.  A full meeting of officers, including the Captain, came to stare down at part of the mechanics.  Whatever it was it appears fixed as it has been fully open the last two lovely sea days.  Well sea days if you don't count "Devil's Island".  The only tour was a self guided walking tour which was actually interesting and tells you the movie (s) Papillon were not filmed on the island.  The monkeys were out and about and appeared comfortable in the unbelievable heat/humidity combination.  We had one woman pass out on the tender back and are surprised there were not more of them.  Lois & I were drenched from head to toe when we got back to the ship.  And we are from Arizona and formerly Florida.  Miserably hot and wet.  No worries, we can shower all we want up till 6pm today.  Then we go on water restrictions for the duration of the Amazon.  Laundry rooms are to be locked and we are asked to minimize water usage, no open taps, etc.  As you might guess, the laundry rooms have been jammed for the last few days.  Lois managed to get ours done right after dinner last night so we are good to go.  The engineering staff cannot make water in the muddy Amazon and its approaches and I was told they do not want to bunker water at the few available ports on the river.  The water quality is not very good so we are more than happy to be careful with the water. I understand some of the Amazon parasites are nasty little critters.😳  After cooling off from shore leave, we had a special event for the 4 month world cruisers.  We were invited to Torshavn for an "Evening of James Bond".  Vicki and her staff performed a number of the Bond theme songs and it was nicely done.  We especially like "Goldfinger".  Once had the chance to have Shirley Bassey sing it for us on the Maiden Voyage of the Queen Mary 2.  The Viking performer was just as good with her rendition.   Halfway through the show, Vicki introduced some of the restaurant/bar staff.  Then announced we were to have a martini making contest...... Tomaslav, the evil Sommelier, winked at me about the time Vicki started to pick the contestants.  As Vicki got closer I began to recognize a set up.  Yep, pulled up to the stage to create "my very best Bond martini".  What the heck, I had already had a couple so how bad can it be?  Vicki can be quite funny and we had a great time.  Lots of laughs from the crowd and, of course it was declared a draw.  How could I not win with my gin, vodka, small splash of Noilly Prat and wave a twist over it?  All good fun.  At dinner in the restaurant I had to walk the gauntlet of comments about my abilities.  🍸🍸😎  A fun time, great meal in the restaurant, and done laundry.  Lucky, lucky, lucky......  And another perfect sea day today to boot.  On to the Amazon!

Edited by Jim Avery
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Hope everyone had a happy Halloween.  Pretty lively here on board with nice decorations in the Atrium and restaurants and some passengers costumed up.  The crew had their own party and it looked quite a hit.  Saw some of the contraband pictures...... Haha, a good time.  Here in the Amazon it is Hot.  Hot and wet.   Hot , wet and smoky smelling.  What do we expect, right?  Today is the middle of three very active days in a row.  I promise to go into more detail when we leave Manaus as we then have 4 sea days getting out of here and on to the next port.  Crossing the line ceremony is due on the 7th as we have already crossed the line but will recross a few times.  So will wait for clean water and no bugs.  Good choice...😎

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On 10/30/2019 at 2:39 PM, Jim Avery said:

Thanks again to Tom for the beautiful shots. I have been a bit remiss in posting as, well, we have just been busy....  I know, doing what?  After doing the Harrison's Caves in Barbados, and after seeing Tom's pictures, I think Tom chose more wisely.  The Caves were nice and the excursion was well run but the Caves not so well done as Karchner Caverns near Benson, AZ.  Anyway, after leaving Barbados we had a picture perfect sea day.  Sunny, warm, near flat calm seas.  The only thing to gripe about is the non opening of the Pool Deck roof.  A number of us asked to have it open as most of y'all know it gets hot and humid when closed in the sun.  At first we were told it could not be opened because "in heavy seas, we might get it open then be unable to close it".  BS in anyone's language. The seas were flat calm.  Something was wrong with the mechanism.  A full meeting of officers, including the Captain, came to stare down at part of the mechanics.  Whatever it was it appears fixed as it has been fully open the last two lovely sea days.  Well sea days if you don't count "Devil's Island".  The only tour was a self guided walking tour which was actually interesting and tells you the movie (s) Papillon were not filmed on the island.  The monkeys were out and about and appeared comfortable in the unbelievable heat/humidity combination.  We had one woman pass out on the tender back and are surprised there were not more of them.  Lois & I were drenched from head to toe when we got back to the ship.  And we are from Arizona and formerly Florida.  Miserably hot and wet.  No worries, we can shower all we want up till 6pm today.  Then we go on water restrictions for the duration of the Amazon.  Laundry rooms are to be locked and we are asked to minimize water usage, no open taps, etc.  As you might guess, the laundry rooms have been jammed for the last few days.  Lois managed to get ours done right after dinner last night so we are good to go.  The engineering staff cannot make water in the muddy Amazon and its approaches and I was told they do not want to bunker water at the few available ports on the river.  The water quality is not very good so we are more than happy to be careful with the water. I understand some of the Amazon parasites are nasty little critters.😳  After cooling off from shore leave, we had a special event for the 4 month world cruisers.  We were invited to Torshavn for an "Evening of James Bond".  Vicki and her staff performed a number of the Bond theme songs and it was nicely done.  We especially like "Goldfinger".  Once had the chance to have Shirley Bassey sing it for us on the Maiden Voyage of the Queen Mary 2.  The Viking performer was just as good with her rendition.   Halfway through the show, Vicki introduced some of the restaurant/bar staff.  Then announced we were to have a martini making contest...... Tomaslav, the evil Sommelier, winked at me about the time Vicki started to pick the contestants.  As Vicki got closer I began to recognize a set up.  Yep, pulled up to the stage to create "my very best Bond martini".  What the heck, I had already had a couple so how bad can it be?  Vicki can be quite funny and we had a great time.  Lots of laughs from the crowd and, of course it was declared a draw.  How could I not win with my gin, vodka, small splash of Noilly Prat and wave a twist over it?  All good fun.  At dinner in the restaurant I had to walk the gauntlet of comments about my abilities.  🍸🍸😎  A fun time, great meal in the restaurant, and done laundry.  Lucky, lucky, lucky......  And another perfect sea day today to boot.  On to the Amazon!

After having a 100 gallon water tank capacity on my cruising sailboat and no water maker, i had a very hard time USING water on my first Viking cruise.  LOL.  

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